Osun State Government and Society for Family Health (SFH) have inaugurated Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets Campaign Coordination Network (LCCN) committees in the state.
The inauguration which took place at the Osun State Ministry of Health, Abere-Osogbo, had scores of representatives of various groups in different walks of life within the state populace in attendance.
The LCCN, Daily Sun gathered, is the coordinating body for the planning and implementation of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) campaign activities aimed at ensuring free distribution of the nets to the Osun State residents to ensure malaria prevention and control in the state.
The nets which will be distributed to a target population of five million people in the state free of charge, were provided by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Global Fund and the Catholic Relief Services Society for Family Health (SFH).
The distribution of the insecticide-impregnated nets is a part of State Malaria Elimination Programme ( SMEP) to ensure control and prevention of malaria-related deaths, especially among children and pregnant women.
During the inauguration of the committees, different groups such as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), League of Imams, traditional rulers, state government, Women Wing, security agencies, media etc were represented.
The Deputy Director, SFH, Mr John Ocholi, said the mandate of the committee was to ensure smooth campaigns about the distribution and the importance of the net to malaria prevention and control with a view to encouraging people to collect and use it approximately.
“You are major stakeholders to tell the people about the net. We want honesty on the part of the people about the distribution. It is meant for all free of charge and we want to ensure that nobody is left out,” Ocholi said.
The Osun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Kusamotu, who performed the inauguration exercise, disclosed that the committee was set up to oversee the processes of net distribution across the state.
“Today we shall be adequately briefed on the different processes that have been put in place to ensure a hitch-free net distribution campaign in the state. This will equip us with the information needed to understand and be able to effectively monitor the entire activity,” he said.
While making remarks about the rationale behind the inauguration and the relevance of the nets in the fight against mosquitoes and malaria, Kusamotu noted:
“I welcome you all and thank you for making out time to be part of this inauguration. As you have been pre-informed, we are here to talk about Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets.
Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets abbreviated as LLIN are mosquito nets that have been impregnated with insecticides. They are a proven cost effective method of malaria control. They are effective because they provide a barrier that prevents mosquito bites, and they may also reduce the population of mosquitoes.”
The commissioner added that the nets would be distributed to the public free of charge.
He urged them to use them properly as doing so would go a long way in preventing a huge number of malaria-related deaths.
“It is important to note that we are providing these nets free to our people. If used appropriately, we may be able to prevent thousands of malaria deaths, especially among children and pregnant women,” Kusamotu said.
He added: “The nets we are going to be distributing were provided by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Global Fund and the Catholic Relief Services Society for Family Health. Some other organisations have been engaged to distribute the nets in the State of Osun
Kusamotu also assured of equity and fairness in the distribution of the nets with a view to ensuring that everybody gets copies.
“Members have been drawn from different walks of life, and to large extent, with enough diversity to represent most of the people of the state and to also take care of specific interests such as security,” he noted.
He called on the participants to pay attention to every bit of information provided during the orientation and be ready to dispatch their responsibilities dutifully when necessary.
“This is a call to service to the state and I urge us all to accept it with every sense of responsibility.”
Kusamotu said that COVID-19 pandemic was real and had not gone completely.
He called on the members of the committees to keep on spreading the message to the people during the net distribution campaigns with a view to encouraging compliance with infection control measures, especially physical distancing and washing of hands with